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Police to be contacted about antisemitic Copenhagen mosque sermon

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Police to be contacted about antisemitic Copenhagen mosque sermon
Masjid Al-Faruq Mosque. File photo: Jens Astrup/Scanpix
17:49 CEST+02:00
The Jewish Community in Denmark will contact police about an imam at a mosque in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro neighbourhood who encouraged attacks on Jews during a Friday service, reports newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad.

The complaint will be based on a video recording of a Friday service at the Masjid al-Faruq mosque in Nørrebro on March 31st this year. The recording was translated from Arabic to English by American institute Memri.

According to the translation, imam Mundhir Abdallah quotes a hadith – a report of a speech by the Prophet Mohammed used in Islamic scripture – which incites violence against Jews.

“‘Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.’ The Jews will hide behind the rocks and the trees, but the rocks and trees will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’,” says the imam according to the translation by Memri.

The sermon was also posted by the mosque on its YouTube channel.

Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, chairperson of the Jewish Community in Denmark, told Kristeligt Dagblad that his organisation would contact the police in relation to the sermon.

“We have been given a translation from an organisation [Memri, ed.] that our security people consider to be trustworthy. So we are now asking the police to assess whether there is basis to file a complaint. This could be based on the racism paragraph [in Danish law, ed.] or the new law on hate preachers. The translation leaves me in no doubt that there’s a hidden incitement to kill Jews. We have to react to that,” Asmussen said.

MP Lars Aslan Rasmussen of the opposition Social Democrat party told Kristeligt Dagblad that he would speak to justice minister Søren Pape Poulsen about the sermon.

“This could be either a breach of the racism paragraph or the imam law [hate preacher law, ed.], which has criminalised certain types of statements from religious preachers… It is very, very serious, and we cannot let imams talk to their congregations in this way,” Rasmussen said.

The imam, Mundhir Abdallah, is reported by the Politiken newspaper to be connected to the controversial Hizb ut-Tahrir group.

Danish-Muslim law student and debater Tarek Ziad Hussein wrote in a Politiken column that some Muslim communities have “serious problems with antisemitism”.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must admit that we in Muslim circles have serious problems with antisemitism. The tragicomic thing is that it is not about Islam vs. Judaism, but about the Israel-Palestine conflict,” wrote Hussein.

There is a lack of ability amongst Muslims to disconnect the conflict from Judaism as a religion, Hussein added.

The hadith used by the imam fits with Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ideology of creating a caliphate and can “undeniably be perceived as an incitement,” Hussein wrote.

“Danish Muslims have a responsibility as citizens to fight all forms of discrimination,” continued Hussein, who labelled Abdullah a “so-called” imam.

Kristeligt Dagblad reports that it has contacted the Masjid al-Faruq mosque for comment. 

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